African-American Muslims forged a ‘Black Muslim Tradition’ with their sweat and blood that fought domestic racial terror and challenged the American empire. Thus, Islam in African-American communities was not simply another religion or a cultural identity in which one passively partook. It was and remains a justice movement that provided a God-centered critique of American anti-black racism and western imperialism. Many African-Americans found Islam empowering because it sacralized their struggle for justice and provided the moral discipline to resist the traps of the system. From the time the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) freed Bilal (May Allah be pleased with him) and made him a leader in the fight against racism and slavery to the El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (May Allah be pleased with him) who was poised to bring the U.S. before the world for human rights violations against African-Americans Islam was always a social justice faith tradition.
Something strange has happened that if not checked it could damage the credibility that Islam earned in the fight for social upliftment. There are few voices within the American Muslim community who have been using their platform to minimize the damage caused by white supremacy in the United States. This faction dubbed the “akhi-right”, have not only betrayed the justice ethos of Islam, but in their efforts to rebrand Islam as an American conservative faith they could undermine dawah efforts in Black America. They began stridently attacking critical race theory on the spurious grounds that it is secular but what became apparent is that they are opposed to any criticism of white America for its anti-black racism and have even rehearsed stale right-wing arguments about personal responsibility and class. On the Middle Ground podcast hosted by Imam Marc Manly, Dr. Abdullah Hamid Ali stated that “White Supremacy is used as an excuse by many African-Americans to not do better.” Here, and in other posts, he’s stated that the wealth disparity between whites and blacks is not an inherited social condition of slavery by systemic and structural racism since emancipation but can solely be attributed to the poor spending habits of African-Americans.
Hamza Yusuf was lambasted for accepting the controversial appointment by President Donald Trump to his all conservative Commission on Unalienable Rights which will advise the president on human rights which will help shape the administration’s criteria on what constitutes a human right. The ten-member panel will include some of the most right-leaning people in the country. While disconcerting to many it was hardly atypical of Yusuf’s political activities over the past three presidential administrations. He advised president George W. Bush after 9/11 and worked closely with the United Arab Emirates who’s behavior in the region has drawn the ire of Muslims. There is the fear with these appointments that his conservatism could support foreign policies that are devastating to the Muslim world. Furthermore, this came in the wake of his remarks at the Reviving the Islamic Spirit Convention in December of 2016.
There, journalist Mehdi Hasan asked Hamza Yusuf if it would be prudent to seek solidarity with African-Americans, in particular the Black Lives Matter movement. Yusuf launched into a diatribe against the current social justice climate where he dismissed the reality of racism in policing and the judicial system; scoffed at the idea of white privilege, institutional racism; and pathologized the black community by pointing out its rate of children born out of wedlock. The “sheikh” who had been regarded by many as thoughtful was in this moment rattling off a list of right-wing grievances that sounded like he was parroting a Breitbart column.In retrospect,Yusuf’s comments portended an insidious anomaly: anti- Black American conservativism among a Muslim substrate. This substrate have enlisted themselves in the culture-wars of the West and deem that its political Right is most closely aligned with traditional Muslim values. This belief is being exemplified by protege of Hamza Yusuf, Dr. Abdullah Hamid Ali. Like Yusuf, Hamid Ali denies the existence of structural racism in more explicit terms:
His iterations are fraught with inaccuracies. To start, he erroneously claims that systemic and structural racism is “never clearly defined” by those of us referring to it and its effects. It’s as though he’s never heard of Dr. Amos Wilson, Dr. Francis Cress Welsing, Dr. Claud Anderson, Michelle Alexander, Dr. Tommy Curry, Dr. Sandy Darity, and Tressie McMillan Cottom to name a few. The amount of research in history, sociology, law, economics, and medical biology that specifies just how exactly black people in America are discriminated against and targeted and the net impact this pattern of behavior within institutions has adversely affected a demographic intergenerationally is incontrovertible. This is hardly the place to present all of the evidence but for the sake of the reader who may be on the fence about this group’s denial I will provide some of that research here.
His first point is contradicted by the innumerable accounts from law enforcement officers themselves. Whistler blowers and scandals have revealed that there is in fact a racist culture in policing today that has spanned over 150 years. Retired Police Chief of the Seattle Police Force Norman Stamper details the racism and brutality in law enforcement in his book Breaking Rank: A Top Cop’s Exposé of the Dark Side of American Policing. There are the leaked documents in 2015 of Alabama cops planting evidence (drugs and weapons) on black men which resulted in the wrongful conviction of 1000 African-Americans. These are first-hand accounts but they are supported by empirical evidence that illustrates a pattern of behavior throughout the entire United States. In the same year of 2015
African-Americans are disproportionately shot and killed by law enforcement at a much higher percentage than any other racial group. His second point is disingenuous and he sidesteps the core issue. He acknowledges discrimination in hiring practices but reasons that because this is not being done by the government but instead by corporations and individuals in corporate America it does not qualify as systemic or structural. Why would the terms systemic and structural racism not include corporate America when corporations are the central element to the structure of this country? But even here he is avoiding the mention of race as a factor in discrimination. He goes on to state how there are Equal Opportunity laws in place and that when someone is found guilty of violating them they are usually prosecuted.
First, the Equal Opportunity Act was passed by President Lyndon B. Johnson as a result of agitation by the Civil Rights Movement. It directly involves race and systemic and structural racism. Secondly, his statement that usually the perpetrators are prosecuted and found guilty is false. Individuals are not prosecuted in cases involving discrimination but it is an individual who must confront the corporate juggernaut with their own means. Third, the conviction rate of companies found guilty of racial discrimination is never as simply as having your day in court. Most suits involving discrimination are settled out of court. Not because the plaintiffs are looking for a payout but because they lack the personal resources to continue litigation against the gargantuan firewall of corporate lawyers and the byzantine legal process. Hamid Ali naively assumes that those companies brought to court do not routinely engage in racially discriminatory practices; that the system operates with absolute integrity.
His third point is unimaginative, egregious, but most of all uniformed. Wealth disparity and the income gap between African-Americans and White Americans is the result of blacks not taking advantage of education opportunities and poor spending habits. It is as if Hamid Ali has never heard of the school to prison pipeline. We have African-American Muslims and others who’ve already done work in this area who have shown that there are no real “educational opportunities” of which to take advantage.
Dr. Muhammad Khalifa’s article ‘That racism thing’: a critical race discourse analysis of a conflict over the proposed closure of a black high school. Professor Tressie Cottom has published and lectured extensively on inequality in higher education. We also have data showing that black students as early as primary school are excessively penalized with harsher punishments for minor infractions than their white classmates thus, recapitulating the racial inequality of the criminal justice system.
If the poor spending habits of African-Americans are responsible for the wealth disparity between blacks and whites as Abdullah states then why haven’t poor spending habits of whites closed the gap? In an article appearing in the June 7, 2016 issue the Atlantic the research by sociologists Raphaël Charron-Chenier, Joshua J. Fink, and Lisa A. Keister of Duke University used data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey to assess the spending habits of white and black households. Empirical data does not support Zaytuna College Professor Dr. Abdullah Ali’s belief that black people have poorer spending habits than whites.
The study notes ‘For goods that are purchased repeatedly, such as groceries or entertainment, low-income blacks and whites spent relatively similar amounts.” The study showed that “access to credit, retail deserts, and discrimination could be major factors in why blacks spend less, in aggregate than whites.” In other words, African-Americans do not just earn less than whites but when they earn as much, they spend less. The reason for this trend is the lack of options available to African-Americans in contrast to their white counterparts of the same economic class.
In their report titled What We Get Wrong About Closing the Racial Wealth Gap for the Insight Center for Social Development economist and sociologists William Darity, Darrick Hamilton, Mark Paul, Alan Aja, Anne Price, Antonio Moore, and Caterina Chiopris take apart the conservative myths about black economic conditions and their simplistic solutions: “Recent data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (2014) shows that black households hold less than seven cents on the dollar compared to white households. The white household living near the poverty line typically has about $18,000 in wealth, while black households in similar economic straits typically have a median wealth near zero. This means, in turn, that many black families have a negative net worth. (Hamilton et al. 2015).”
In case the argument is made that black people are lazier consider that even for well-to-do black families there are stark differences in terms of racial demographic: “The 99th percentile black family is worth a mere $1,574,000 while the 99th percentile white family is worth over 12 million dollars. This means over 870,000 white families have a net worth above 12 million dollars, while, out of the 20 million black families in America, fewer than 380,000 are even worth a single million dollars. By comparison, over 13 million of the total 85 million white families are millionaires or better (Moore and Bruenig 2017).”
Certainly the black families in this category are not lazy. Given the statistics in other areas that show what they would have had to overcome they are probably the most hardworking in America.
Abdullah seems to be pulling from history written from an orthodox American Economics view. In this view decision making is decontextualized. Man is expected to act as a rational calculator. Like other black conservatives he pretends that structures don’t exist or play a decisive role in determining our options. The only structure that conservatives recognize as affecting the individual personal agency is the family. Well, children accrue a number of disadvantages growing up in socio-economic disadvantaged areas which does seismically affect choices made within a demographic in dire circumstances. Black people were literally homeless and penniless immediately upon emancipation. What African-Americans did build in the way of successful communities proved fragile when they were destroyed and discriminatory laws were erected hindering them from rebuilding.
The so-called Post-Civil Rights Era was also disappointing. Patillo-McCoy, Anderson, Massey and Denton American Apartheid demonstrate that poor Black families (and thus children) tend to live in concentrated high-poverty spaces, whereas other poor kids tend to live in more mixed socio-economic situations. My point, here, is that while Republicanesque Muslims like Abdullah Hamid Ali like to emphasize personal choice as key overall and unaffected by enveloping systems the data shows that choices made by adult Black Americans have everything to do with the circumstances that shaped them as children. The stability of the black family has always been tenuous.
Whether it was in the racially hostile South, during the Great Migration, or the economic marginalization of the North. Malcolm Gladwell’s tipping point concept points out that one horrible thing that happened to the majority of black families to negatively affect the majority. Thus, the economic health of black society from the family to its individual members has always been exceptionally vulnerable due to factors besides their personal choices. To bring it back to Islam this is why the deen is a complete way of life that includes the government, economics, social norms, and the individual matters because Islam recognizes that the human being is a social creature.
Perhaps Dr. Abdullah Hamid Ali is referring to black entertainers like rappers and athletes when he cites poor spending habits, but the spectacle of black celebrity is not indicative of race relations in America any more than general celebrity culture is indicative of normative social relations. Furthermore, the spectacle of celebrity provides an escapism for the general populace and so exaggerates the hedonism and conspicuous consumption that is American. As for most low-income African-Americans they consume brand items like at discounted rates. Knock-off clothing, pirated movies, or wholesale outlets are very popular.
His fourth point is that blacks commit most of the violent crimes in the United States and therefore the sentencing ratio of black males to white males is not so much an injustice as it is an unfortunate hazard of being a criminal in the first place. The fact is that African-Americans are disproportionately represented in crime statistics based on arrests, prosecution, and conviction. The violent crimes that African-Americans are responsible for are in low-income and even poverty-stricken neighborhoods and not the suburbs or affluent black areas. If we take all of the data that has been introduced so far and the rest that exist on class and race then it would be reasonable to conclude that these violent crimes are related to the depression of these areas and that African-Americans have not behaved much differently than any other racial under the same circumstances. It should also be noted African-Americans are significantly more likely to be wrongfully convicted of crimes.
Added to this however, are centuries of disenfranchisement through both government and corporate social engineering. Like his statement on job discrimination, he dismisses racism as a factor and suggests that the system has been operating with integrity. African-Americans are under lengthy parole supervision at 4.15% while whites are at 1% according to Kaeble 2018, NYS; Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, and the 2019 U.S. Census Bureau. Then there is the Princeton study that shows employers prefer whites with felonies over blacks with no criminal record. These statistics are taken from the Bureau of Justice:
It is as if Hamid Ali has never heard of Michelle Alexander or her pre-eminent book The New Jim Crow or Ava DuVernay’s documentary 13th. He posts about this crucial subject in our volatile time with a glibness that betrays the diligence of a scholar. Of course, his remonstrance against Critical Race Theory is part and parcel of his negligence. Refusing to see any value in a critical approach to racism in America is why he is either oblivious to the data and research or insouciant. Be it willful or unwitting he has demonstrated that he not only lacks the tools to engage the weighty subject of race in America but is driven by an ideology that historically has fostered misery for people who look like him.
Dr.Abdullah Hamid Ali’s Misreading of Forman
In Hamid Ali’s recent post, he argues that African-American politicians, activists, preachers, and law enforcement officers generally favored tough drug laws. Everyone from black nationalists to members of the Congressional Black Caucus opposed the legalization of marijuana. Hamid Ali concluded that this is proof that the war on drugs was not systemically racist. Hamid Ali clearly did not read the book. This reference is a decontextualization of Forman’s work. Forman’s own book reveals that he does not deny the existence of systemic racism. Forman documents African-American responses to criminal activities in their community in order to repudiate “a claim sometimes made by defenders of the criminal justice system: that African Americans protest police violence while ignoring violence by black criminals.”
However, Forman unequivocally states that “in focusing on the actions of black officials, I do not minimize the role of whites or of racism in the development of mass incarceration. To the contrary: racism shaped the political, economic and legal context in which the black community and its elected representatives made their choices.” Forman is arguing that these resolutions unwittingly contributed in bolstering the criminal justice system’s campaign against African-Americans by giving it license to target them under the cover of stemming the tide of drugs and violence. This is a classic way that racism in the post-Civil Rights Era functions and is precisely what Critical Race Theory seeks to unmask. Forman is actually a leading critic of mass incarceration and its disproportionate impact on African-Americans.
Traditionally African-Americans have been socially conservative and have regarded drug use as exacerbating social ills in their community. But there is a conflictual narrative around drugs in the black community that involves the desire to escape poverty through the narcotics trade on one hand and fighting its arresting effects on the other. This narrative was amplified during the crack epidemic of the late 80s to early 90s. During this time fighting drugs and the violence that came with it was the primary objective of any community activist. This is a fault line in the Left that separated black leftists and liberals and white liberals. Most African-Americans were skeptical of white liberal efforts to legalize marijuana. On the whole, legalizing drugs was seen in the black community as a white liberal initiative. Like white advocacy for the use of LSD African-Americans saw this issue differently than many white liberals. There was never the bourgeoisification of drugs in the black community. They were always associated with poverty, duress, death, and incarceration.
Forman is arguing in his book that the blacks who supported tough on crime bills could not have predicted the role that they would play in the criminalization of African-Americans and their damage on their social mobility. Forman does not share Dr.Hamid Ali’s egregious denial of systemic racism.
Abdullah Hamid Ali also relies upon Forman to argue that whites supported drug legalization policies that would have protected Black people. However, a ACLU study indicates that in States that legalized marijuana African-Americans are still arrested for possession at disproportionately high rates. Therefore, it is not proven that such drug legalization policies would have protected Black people from racial profiling.
The main point is that Forman would not argue against the existence of systemic racism. White drug possession has historically been treated as benign or less malignant as black drug possession. It is not used to pathologize people. A nationally recognized sport, Nascar, began with white men selling booze (drugs) during Prohibition racing to get away from police. Their criminal post became humanized. What Forman’s book argues is that despite earnest intentions behind reducing crime in black communities through Congressional intervention the inherent racism of the system will almost guarantee that it will adversely affect African-Americans and to understand exactly how we must realize we must collect and interpret data on disparities along racial lines. Thus, it is ironic that Hamid Ali references a book whose premise actually vindicates critical race theory. Take for example the death penalty. African-Americans believe that murder should be a crime but this does not mean they support the African-Americans disproportionately receiving the death penalty.
Dr.Abdullah Hamid Ali’s Egregious Denial of Racism in Death Penalty Convictions
I recall discussing with my late father, attorney Frank L. Beane, the Troy Davis case. Troy Davis was executed 2011 for the murder of police office Mark MacPhail in Savannah Georgia. His conviction was based entirely on an eyewitness account but the witness recanted and advocates fought to have his conviction overturned. His case made it all the way to the Supreme Court and the warden awaited the decision. In the end the original verdict was upheld and Davis was executed. My father was a practicing criminal defense attorney for over thirty years and it is rare for the Supreme Court to overturn a jury verdict but unheard of when the condemned is black. When we look at the statistics on the death penalty they say the same thing as the statistics on every other area: race matters. Yet, Abdullah bin Hamid Ali carelessly asks:
“On Stiffer Penalties and Death Penalty: I ask again, where are the stats that show that only white people determine the outcomes of such things? Are there no blacks involved in sentencing? Are there no black judges or judges from other races? And, aren’t these black people guilty of committing crimes? I understand the concern with equal application of the law. But, in the US not every state has uniform law and penal codes. Could this disparity be due to that reality that some people will commit 1st degree murder in PA, for instance, and receive a natural life sentence, while in another state, he only gets up to 25 years rather than the assertion that a group of white people got together with the expressed intention to oppressed blacks?”
Well, a study conducted by Professor Jeffrey Pokorak and researchers at St. Mary’s University Law School in Texas provides part of the explanation for why the application of the death penalty remains racially skewed (and it is racially skewed). Pokorak found that the key decision makers in death cases around the country are almost exclusively white men. Of the chief District Attorneys in counties where the death penalty exists, nearly 98% are white and only 1% are African-American. So there is proof from within the legal profession that the majority of decision-makers responsible for passing the majority of death sentences are in fact white and that while no one state is the same racial bias in death penalty sentencing is something they all have in common. Only 1% of the District Attorneys in death penalty states in this country are black and only 1% are Hispanic. The remaining 97.5% are white, and almost all of them are male. Furthermore, an investigation of all murder cases that have been prosecuted from 1973 to 1990 showed that in cases involving the murder of a white person, prosecutors often met with the victim’s family and discussed whether to seek the death penalty.
82% of the studies conducted on capital murders demonstrated how the race of victim affected whether or not the perpetrator would be charged with capital murder and receive a death sentence. The data showed that when whites were the victim the defendant was more likely to be sentenced to death than those who murdered blacks. These findings were remarkably consistent across data sets, states, data collection methods, and analytic techniques. The findings even held for high, medium, and low quality studies. Probably the most stunning discovery of this research was that it concluded that “race is more likely to affect death sentencing than smoking affects the likelihood of dying from heart disease.” Critical Race Theory has been applied to expose these nefarious practices which are life-damaging. It began as a reworking of critical legal studies on race issues and has only two core ideas: 1) the presupposition that white supremacy and racial power are maintained over time and that the law as seen in these cases plays a key role in their longevity and 2) the relationship between racial power and law must be understood to affect a broader emancipation. It is absurd and morally reprehensible to suggest that it is somehow a pious act to sit docile in the face of such an existential threat while until we contrive an epistemologically pure method of redress. The same Quran and Sunnah that enjoins fighting oppression can not be a valid basis for opposing Critical Race Theory in fighting oppression.
Critical Race Theory and Personal Responsibility
Elsewhere on facebook, Dr.Abdullah Hamid Ali critiques critical race theory and explained that his stance “is in response to another person trying to use the race and slavery card to explain away the role that personal responsibility plays in improving our condition.”
The persistent flaw in responsibility-politics whether it is from Zaytuna or the rank and file racism deniers is the false dichotomy it sets up between taking personal responsibility and acknowledging the role that structures play in personal options. Dr. Abdullah Hamid Ali uses a verse in the Quran to support the idea that the two are mutually exclusive. He writes “God will not change what is with people until they change what is with themselves” (Q 13:11). Where is any of that in our current discourses about Critical Race Theory, White Supremacy, Racism?”
This view is nothing but sheer ignorance or bias towards the largest segment of Muslims in this country. What is interesting is that this is one of the most oft-quoted ayot in African-American Muslim urban circles. The Black Muslim tradition and not some upstart neo-conservative American Muslim fringe has always seen Islam as a force for transforming black life from within. Zaytuna’s Professor Dr. Abdullah Hamid Ali is trying to appropriate the use of this verse in discussions about the black condition for his neoconservative argument.
The difference between Black Muslims having always quoted this ayat and how Abdullah is misappropriating it here is that in the Black Muslim Tradition change within included change without. African-American Muslims have the reputation for actually getting into the streets and prisons and inspiring our people to change their lives. That is our track record. That is the Black Muslim legacy.
We did so without having to deny the forces of racism that produced the conditions that make certain personal decisions harder than others or make it easier for one group than another. Changing what is in your selves must go hand-in-hand with understanding the conditions surrounding you. This is socio-politico-economic literacy. This is known in Sharia as the muamalat.
The Black Muslim Tradition as embodied by Malcolm X, The Dar ul Islam, and Imam Jamil Al Amin always tied the struggle against systemic and structural oppression to personal responsibility and morality without denying the former. Black Muslims establishing families was an act of revolutionary praxis. One that defied the attempts during slavery to eradicate the very idea of black family. After haranguing on social media, Dr. Abdullah bin Hamid Ali quoted this verse in what spoke to the nascence of the Akhi-right. They have not found their own language, their own voice, and so must co-opt elements from the discourses established movements whose positions they eschew.
Whether it is denying the role of slavery in creating much of the black-white wealth gap or citing single-parent households in the black community as being responsible for police brutality; the persistent notion that personal responsibility should be made a stand-alone issue that can account for social inequity between blacks and whites. Dr. Abdullah Ali and Hamza Yusuf have rooted themselves in Lutheran pietism. Originally, pietism promoted the idea of unconditional personal moral restraint. It conceives of personal decisions in isolation of external influences. Sinful behavior cannot be inherited from social practice but the preserve of the individual alone. Politically in the United States, this translated into American conservatism. Historian Richard McCormick said in The Party Period and Public Policy “In the nineteenth-century voters whose religious heritage was pietistic or evangelical were prone to support the Whigs and later, the Republican.” The moral chauvinism of the Right is not only deaf to the concerns of their African-American who are their countrymen and fellow Christians who have more than no prayer in school or same-sex marriage to contend with but are in a fight for their very lives as the precariousness of black life is reinforced by heavy investment in both the prison-industrial complex and the military-industrial complex. Pietism is not a game that African-Americans can afford to play in a herrenvolk democracy.
One of the traits of American conservatives is that they affirm the victimhood of white males while accusing African-Americans of victimhood. They treat sympathetically the pathologies in white America while hypercritical of the social conditions enveloping African-Americans. Abdullah bin Hamid Ali exhibits this kind of racial favoritism. Tweeting about the white male gunman in Dayton, Ohio, Conner Betts, who shot up a downtown nightlife this past August he said:
Dr. Abdullah Hamid Ali acknowledges white victims but not black ones. He sees context and failed structures when it comes to white terrorists and their mass shootings but denies these factors when examining social conditions of black folk. He reduces African-American issues to poor choices despite the data and research. Criminologist Adam Lankford of the University of Alabama said that the three factors that mass shooters have in common are: 1) suicidal motives and indifference to life, 2) perceived victimization, and 3) desire for attention and fame. Abdullah Hamid Ali never addresses why there are comparatively less black mass shooters despite the high rates of depression in the black community and the sense of existential dread that he is saying drives these white males to commit extreme acts of violence.
He just attributes criminality in the inner city as simply the by-product of culture. His selective victim-hood is consistent in his other posts. For example he paints black organizations as equivalent to or worse than white structural racism. The flaws of American Muslim conservatives are the borrowed flaws of black conservatism which stem from mainstream white conservatism. While characterizing critical race theorists as “un-Islamic”, he has no problem promoting Black conservative punditry which carries explicitly anti-Islamic views. For example, Dr. Abdullah Hamid Ali relies upon Larry Elder’s Black conservatism for his case against reparations. Yet, Larry Elder has stated that “ISIS is doing nothing different than Muhammad and his successors.” Black Conservative thinker and pundit Larry Elder has also expressed the sentiment that the ‘Islamic slave trade’ of Black people should be taught to Black people during Black History Month. How is the “Black conservatism” of Larry Elder compatible with Islam but not Critical Race Theory?
These individuals routinely endorse reactionary stances on race, they believe a mythical personal agency that operates in the vacuum of systemic conditions. At present, it is unclear what will become of this faction. It is of some consolation that they have had a rough start. Their shallow understanding of social and political issues and unfamiliarity with the scholarship on structural racism in the backdrop of Black Lives Matter and NYC surveillance of Muslims and the Patriot Act have made it impossible to take them seriously. In addition, their style of writing strikes as mealy-mouthed and obtuse. They never address the data of opposing arguments nor put forward evidence for their claims. Instead, they conflate ideologies on the Left no matter how greatly they differ in order to oversimplify the opposing side. All of this makes them very annoying but that is their most benign trait. What is most dangerous is the threat they pose to the social capital of Islam in America as a whole and black America in particular. Dr. Abdullah Hamid Ali’s Lamppost and Hamza Yusuf betray the African-American Muslim legacy by cloaking it in support of mass incarceration, extra-judicial killings, draconian jingoistic laws, and expanding the U.S. empire. They will continue to invoke the names Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali despite their celebrated anti-imperialism and anti-racism.
Professor Shareef Muhammad has taught history at Georgia State University and Islamic studies at Spelman University. He has a masters in history at Kent State University with his thesis on The Cultural Jihad in the antelbellum South: How Muslim slaves preserved their religious/cultural identity during slavery. He is the Director of Research for Black Dawah Network.